Computer-aided design (CAD) combines computer programs and systems that allow engineers and architects to design detailed 2D or 3D models of physical objects, such as mechanical parts, buildings, and molecules.
It is specially used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (“2D”) space or curves, surfaces, and solids in three-dimensional (“3D”) objects.
There is so much free cad software available, but only a handful are free or valuable. So here is 10 Free CAD Software You Should Use.
Archimedes – Best Free CAD Software
Archimedes is an open-source Computer-aided design (CAD) software that mainly focuses on architectural design.
It is a robust system built over Eclipse’s Rich Client Platform based on plugins. It is easily extensible and has a thin core that allows you to quickly select the features you need and drop the other ones.
- Essential drawing tools like; Lines, Polylines, Arcs, Circles, Editable Text, Explode and Offset
- Advanced CAD functions like; Trimming, Filleting, and Area measurement.
- Hand drawing is easily exported in scalable vector graphics (SVG) format.
- Autosave functionality
- English, Portuguese, and Italian language support
BRL-CAD – Open Source CAD software
BRL-CAD is an open-source, cross-platform free CAD software based on constructive solid geometry (CSG) modeling system.
- interactive 3D substantial geometry editing
- high-performance ray tracing for rendering and geometric analysis
- image and signal-processing tools
- network-distributed frame buffer support
- a system performance analysis
- benchmark suite
- libraries for robust geometric representation and analysis library
- photon mapping support for realistic image synthesis
- embedded scripting interface
FreeCAD for Windows
freeCAD is an open-source multi-platform 3D CAD modeler with advanced Motion Simulation capabilities. It’s suitable for anyone considering 3D CAD and Motion Simulation without spending a dime earlier than utilizing extra subtle packages.
It primarily focuses on mechanical engineering and product design and suits a broader range of engineering uses comparable to architecture or different engineering specialties. This system runs on Windows, Linux PCs, Macintosh PPC, and Unix. Meeting data are unchanged across platforms.
HeeksCAD – Best Free CAD Software
HeeksCAD is a free, open-source CAD Software written by Dan Heeks. It is primarily designed to provide valuable features similar to important solid models from STEP and IGES files.
Draw construction geometry and lines and arcs. Create new primitive solids, or make solids by extruding a sketch or making a lofted strong between designs.
Modify solids utilizing mixing or boolean operations. Save IGES, STEP, and STL. The printer plots the 2D geometry or HPGL.
Import and export DXF files; lines, arcs, ellipses, splines, and polylines are supported. Use the geometric constraints and solver to create correct drawings from rough sketches.
Monoworks CAD Software
MonoWorks is a full-featured, Open Source 3D CAD Software for Computer-Aided Drafting, Design, and Engineering tools.
The software comes with object-oriented math and modeling libraries and interactive viewing and modeling purposes.
The MonoWorks Project aims to offer a versatile and robust set of engineering tools, from simple tasks to advanced automation and visualization.
MeshLab – Free CAD software
MeshLab is an open-source, portable, and extensible system for processing and editing unstructured 3D triangular meshes.
It aims to assist in processing the typical not-so-small unstructured models arising in 3D scanning. It offers tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering, and changing this sort of meshes.
- 3D Acquisition – 3D data alignment phase
- Painting interface for selecting, smoothing, and coloring meshes.
- Easy to Input/output in many formats:
- Import: PLY, STL, OFF, OBJ, 3DS, COLLADA, PTX, V3D, PTS, APTS, XYZ, GTS, TRI, ASC, X3D, X3DV, VRML, ALN file formats
- export:PLY, STL, OFF, OBJ, 3DS, COLLADA, VRML, DXF, GTS, U3D, IDTF, X3D file formats
- Mesh Cleaning Filters
- Remeshing filters
- Various Colorization/Inspection filters
- Interactive Mesh Painting
- Measuring tool. You can take linear measures between points of the displayed meshes
- Slicing tool. A new tool that allows exporting planar sections of a mesh in SVG format
- 3D Scanning tools
- OpenGL Shader based rendering
- Large rendering (up to 16k x 16k) for high-quality printing
- The history of all performed cleaning/editing actions can be re-played on different meshes or saved for archival purposes.
- Extendible plugin-based architecture
Misfit Model 3D – best free cad software
Misfit Model 3D is an OpenGL-based 3D model editor that works with triangle-based models. It helps with multi-level undo, skeletal animations, texturing mapping, scripting, command-line batch processing, and a plugin system for including new features. The software is straightforward to use and simple to extend with plugins and scripts.
Website: Misfit Model 3D
Open CASCADE for Windows
Open CASCADE is a robust CAD/CAM/CAE kernel and development platform for 3D modeling applications. It consists of reusable C++ object libraries and development tools available in Open Source.
Website: Open CASCADE
QCAD – 2D CAD system
QCAD is a Multi-platform CAD Software Suite specially designed for 2D design and drafting. Using a 2D CAD program for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS is highly effective but straightforward.
It uses the AutoCAD DXF file format internally as its standard file format. Whereas different CAD packages are sometimes fairly sophisticated, QCad tries to stay comfortable, and even an absolute beginner can create professional drawings with minimal effort.
SALOME Free CAD Software
Salome is an open-source Integration Platform for Numerical Simulation that gives a generic Pre- and Post-Processing platform for numerical simulation.
The software comes with an open and versatile structure made from reusable parts. Moreover, it is a cross-platform solution distributed as an open-source software below the GNU LGPL license.
It uses a standalone utility for the era of CAD models, their preparation for numerical calculations, and post-processing of the calculation results.
- Easy to Create/modify, import/export (IGES, STEP, BREP), repair/clean CAD models
- Provide Coordination between CAD modeling and computation software (CAD-CAM link).
- Mesh CAD models, edit mesh, check mesh quality, import/export mesh (MED, UNV, DAT, STL)
- Easy to Handle physical properties and quantities attached to geometrical items
- Display computation results (scalar, vectorial)
- It provides a generic user-friendly, and efficient user interface, which reduces the costs and delays of carrying out the studies.
- Reduces training time to the specific time for learning the software solution based on this platform
- Manage studies (create, save, reload)
- Offer access to all functionalities via the integrated Python console.